higher education - In the past higher education was seldom...

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In the past, higher education was seldom as bureaucratically organized as corporate and government institutions. This was mainly due to European traditions and the fact that universities are very dependent upon a large number of highly educated professionals who used their numbers and expertise to demand a voice in university governance. This, however, is beginning to change. Internal Efficiency There are several rationalizing trends at American universities that can be considered to be home grown--internal to the university, mirroring the more goal oriented norms of measurement, coordination, and efficiency that increasingly dominate society as a whole. They arise internally to meet the needs of higher education institutions themselves--the need to increase productivity and efficiency because of tightening budgets. Universities can no longer expect significant increases in state funding and therefore further rationalize their organization by controlling instructional costs, tightening coordination, cutting programs with few majors, and raising tuition and fees. This list would include: The tightening of coordination as evidenced by the rise of continuous evaluation of faculty through measures of student performance, student opinion surveys, and monitoring professor performance in the classroom . These reviews are conducted for purposes of merit, promotion and tenure. This change in monitoring is part of the increase in educational bureaucracy, and part no doubt is due to the general tightening of coordination and control exhibited throughout society in order to assure continuing productivity of the workforce. We no longer assume that professionals will perform unless monitored. Most recently the tenure process has come under increasing review. One proposal calls for a "post-tenure" review process--other proposals are to scrap the tenure process itself. The standardization of course content. Some of this was accomplished through the widespread use of textbooks, but the move to standardize the curriculum comes from many modern sources--accrediting boards, state agencies, federal mandates as well as universities themselves. Most of this standardization is undertaken to promote quality and comparability across universities--apparently faculty are no longer qualified to decide on their own course content, students can no longer survive a "bad" professor, and ease of transferring credit between institutions has become a major goal of the university; The growth in the power and influence of central administration. An increasing share of resources that go toward administrative costs demonstrates this. As the sheer size of faculty, student body, and physical plant of the university grows, the division of labor at the university increases, so to do the mechanism of coordination and control enlarge and centralize. It is also evidenced by the frequent end runs around university governing boards (faculty governance organizations and academic curriculum committees) in order to more efficiently
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achieve the goals of the institution itself. A university can be far more efficient
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course 101 melissa jo taught by Professor Acc101 during the Spring '11 term at Aarhus Universitet.

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higher education - In the past higher education was seldom...

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